Apollo

I wanted to come back to this blog to update you guys on the wonderful happenings in our life recently. Getting married, our St. Lucia honeymoon and settling into married life are just a few highlights that have been at the center of my attention lately, but today I can’t talk about any of that.

Today, my heart is heavy.

The morning of our wedding, Joseph was abruptly awoken at 5 a.m. by our 13-year-old cat, Apollo. He was howling at the top of his lungs and panting. Apollo has had these episodes before, but not like this. Joseph sensed something wasn’t right. He got in touch with our vet and by 9 a.m. that morning Apollo was whisked away for an x-ray. Joseph and I were married that day and during dinner that night as we celebrated with family and friends, he mentioned to me that something was on his mind. He didn’t want me to worry so he promised to tell me later. As soon as we exited our reception and we were in the car headed to the hotel, Joseph informed me of that mornings events. The x-ray had revealed a mass on Apollo’s chest. Unable to identify exactly what it was, the vet gave him a steroid shot and planned to revisit the mass in a month. Joseph’s parents took good care of Apollo while we honeymooned and we were given a full report of how Apollo was doing when we got back. He wasn’t eating as much and he was definitely still sleeping a little more than usual. We scheduled a follow up appointment with the vet and carefully looked after him.

Apollo

This past Saturday, we took both Apollo and Zeus to the vet. Apollo needed to be updated on his shots and he’d be x-rayed again. Zeus also needed to be updated on his shots and micro chipped. It all seemed like a normal visit. We were shown the original x-ray from November 2nd before Apollo was taken to the back for the second x-ray. The wait seemed like forever. The vet, Dr. Jones, returned 10 minutes later with the results. He put up the old and new x-rays side by side. No one had to say anything. It was clear as day in those scans. The mass had grown significantly. Instead of a hazy smear in his chest, there appeared a bright white mass in his chest. I kept telling myself to keep it together. As Dr. Jones told us the news, my heart ached. It was a cancerous mass that had grown and Apollo was given 60 to 90 days left. That was all it took. We were given a timeline. I immediately broke down, covered my face with my hands and sobbed. This sweet old man of a cat was given a deadline and there wasn’t anything we could do about it. Operating on the mass could kill him as well as any sort of chemo. We were given an antibiotic that would slow the growth of the mass and increase his appetite. Dr. Jones also told us that Apollo gets whatever he wants. He isn’t restricted to his prescription diet and he’s free to eat like a king.  When Apollo doesn’t feel well enough to eat anymore, that’s our sign we’ll need to take him in and say our goodbyes.

Death sucks. It takes our loved ones away, but teaches us that life isn’t a guarantee and we must live each day as if it were our last. So Apollo gets treats, lunch meat and anything else he desires until God decides the day has come.

I’ve struggled with this sad news greatly. I’ve quietly cried late at night. I have to hold back tears throughout the day and I’m anxious to get home from work to see how Apollo is doing. I dread the day when he doesn’t feel like eating anymore. We anxiously watch him eat every night. We hunt through the fridge and pantry to give him a taste of new foods. We pet him softly and coax him into hanging out with us before he heads back to the closet for another long slumber. We’re fine with this. It’s where he wants to sleep and be left to himself, but I’m selfish and I want him hanging out with us so we can squeeze out all the hours of his last days.

Our pets are just like any other family member. We love them unconditionally and we suffer greatly when they are gone. We are given many responsibilities when we decide to take on another life. We care for them, feed them, give them a roof, a bed, a home. We give them our hearts. We fall madly in love with them. And there comes a day when we must make the hardest decision and the one responsibility that truly sucks with pet ownership. Letting them go.

We also must do our best to look at the positives of this situation. The timeframe totally sucks, but it’s also a blessing. We are able to appreciate him even more and be thankful for the days we do have with him on this Earth. We take more pictures and hug him more. We watch him carefully in hopes of remembering every little detail of him. His white fur, little pudgy belly, the way his jaw moves when Joseph scratches his chin and the way he moves up to Joseph’s chest to mark his scratchy beard.

So for those of you that have pets, hug them today and everyday and appreciate the time you spend with them. And if you’d like, pray for our sweet boy.

Are You A Princess?

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I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life and I just have to share it with you all.

Last Monday I had my bridal portraits taken at the Dallas Arboretum. It was a beautiful Fall day and lots of people took advantage of the day outside. Joe’s mom and I arrived at the Arboretum around 2:30 and after getting dressed in their VIP room, we headed out to the gardens for pictures. Several sweet women passing by commented on my beautiful dress and the beautiful bride. I was gushing and cheesing like a little girl. It was so nice of them to say such sweet words to me.

We continued on finding some really gorgeous spots to take photos. After about an hour, I began hearing little girls from across the gardens mentioning the pretty princess. I didn’t think much of it until a sweet little 5-year-old girl ran up to me and asked if I was a princess. She said I was the most beautiful princess she had ever seen and wanted to take a picture with me. I couldn’t believe this little girl could build my confidence and self-esteem in a matter of seconds. A few minutes later, another little girl ran up to me with a digital camera and began taking pictures. Again, she mentioned I was the prettiest princess she’d ever seen. I couldn’t help but blush and tell her thank you.

I miss having that childhood imagination, dreaming of princesses, Disney movies and my prince charming on a white horse. It was such a sweet moment that I’ll cherish forever. Those little girls will never know what a sweet thing they did for me and I hope they never lose that imagination or that simple compliments can go a long way.

The Songs That Bring Back Memories

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Hi all! Let’s skip over the fact that I haven’t been around in over a month and just get to the post shall we? K. I love your faces and I’ll eventually figure out a better schedule for this thingy. Bare with me in the meantime.

Do you all have a certain song that triggers a memory? I’ve got several, but I came across one that I wanted to share with you all today.

My running playlist consists of a lot of popular, upbeat tunes that keep me moving. On my run last weekend, a song came on that took me back to when I was 18. It was the first song I began running to and the first song that gave me the motivation to get my sweet behind out the door. It was Anyway You Want It by Journey. Not the first song you’d think, right? I had a Journey “phase” when I discovered it during an episode of Laguna Beach on MTV (Don’t Stop Believing during the scene with Lauren and Stephen in the car. Anyone? Oh yeah!). Yes, sadly, that’s how I learned of the greatness that is Journey. Please don’t judge me. I was a 90′s baby. Moving on. There was something about that song. The good beat, the lyrics, the perfect tempo. It was exactly what I needed to get my butt into gear and start running. I listened to it on repeat for weeks on my runs. To this day, it’s still on my running playlist and it always brings back such awesome memories of pounding the pavement near my parents house.

What are some other songs that bring back memories?

The Eli Young Band takes me back to college, Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit reminds me of the first guy I ever dated and of course N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys takes me back to my elementary and middle school years. John Denver’s Country Roads, Take Me Home song reminds me of my mom and her most favorite words of wisdom, “Remember who you are.” Fall Out Boy’s My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark got me through my first half marathon. I could probably go on for a while with this list. Certain songs just trigger certain memories.

So what are your memory trigger songs? I’d love to know. Yours may just spark another memory of mine. Have an awesome Wednesday!

How About An Update

It’s been nearly 2 months since my last post. To be honest, I’ve contemplated deleting this blog entirely. I haven’t had much time for it lately. If I’m not working or planning for the wedding then I’m spending time with my favorite people.

When I started this blog, I was bored. I was at a dead beat job doing something I absolutely hated and during my downtime, I would blog. At times it’s been frustrating and other times it’s been my saving grace. At times, I would just write something to get a post out there. There wasn’t any thought or creativity behind it. Blogging can take a lot of time depending on your end goals. I’ve been back and forth with my goals but the one thing I wanted to do was stay consistent with my posts. Writing a post M-F became more of a chore and something I just didn’t enjoy. I knew I needed to step away for a bit and figure out what I wanted out of this little space. And to this day, I’m still trying to figure that out.

So, as I’m contemplating the future of this little blog, life continues on. Here’s a bit of a recap.

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My cousin got married at the end of July. It was a beautiful wedding located out our family church with a reception at a nice country club. They are the sweetest couple and we’re so happy for them. I got a couple “Your next!” comments that night, too. Only 79 days left!

Speaking of, we’ve done quite a bit of planning since we last left off. I’ve bought most of my girls’ gifts, my garter and I’ve started picking out things for Joe’s gift, too. I’ve done a couple DIY projects as well. I had my first dress fitting yesterday and it went great. I had a hair and makeup trial a few weeks ago and I’m so excited to get all dolled up for the big day. Our spare room is starting to look more like wedding HQ than a bedroom. We still need to deal with music, lighting and decor. We’re ahead of the game and I’d like to keep it that way.

Some friends and I went to a We The Kings concert not too long ago. Major teeny bopper alert, but it was still a lot of fun. CTFXC FTW!

The Fourth of July was spent with family and friends. We checked out some fireworks and had a great bbq.

We’ve spent a bit of time up at the lake which has been a blessing. I love going up there. I always come back feeling just a bit refreshed. This past time, we swam off the shore, cooked on the grill and played an old family marble game. I lost…twice, but we had such a good time.

We celebrated my 25th birthday this past Sunday. I had dreamed of going skydiving (I know…daredevil right here), but I couldn’t find a place to do it for less than $200. Since I’m planning a wedding, I just couldn’t fork over that much cash. Maybe for my 26th? The day was great none the less. I spent it with Joe and the rest of my wonderful family.

What’s coming up? Joe’s birthday is coming up in less than two weeks. My bridal shower is in a month. Bachelorette weekend in 6 weeks. And hopefully I can squeeze in a few races before the big W Day. I hope you’ll stick around. :)

Cat Got Your Tongue

Hey homies! Zeus here. I’m taking over my mom’s blog today because she keeps complaining that she’s got something called writer’s block. I don’t know about you, but writers block sounds like cat scratch fever so I’ll let her recoup. I’m sure she’ll be back to her normal self in a jiffy.

So let me formally introduce myself. I’m Zeus. I’m nearly a year old. In cat world, I’m a spry young teenager. My parents are pretty much the bomb diggity even though they whisked me away from my spazzy, cool brothers when I was 3 months old. Eh. Those turds can’t handle my awesomeness anyway.

Zeus, Mom and Dad

I escaped the world of fostering to live with my family in a two bedroom apartment. My mom says she had plans to turn the extra bedroom into a spare bedroom for guests, but little did she know that as soon as I came that I’d take that shiz over. See, I need room. I need room to stalk my bird prey and take sun naps by the window. I can’t have a bed, desk, comfy chair and all that jazz cramping my style. So the extra bedroom is now considered the “cat play room.” It’s sa-weet!

My days are spent pouncing on and stalking my older brother, Apollo. See, he’s an old grumpy fart and I like to mess with him a lot. I’ve got tons of energy. What better way to use it then to berate my big brother. It’s lots of fun. Plus, every once in a while, he likes to do his own pouncing. And sometimes he actually catches me off guard. Enter poofy tail syndrome. I’m sure I don’t have to explain what that is and I’m fairly certain that’s the technical, scientific name.

I have a thing for computers. It’s obviously how I’m writing this blog, but my favorite thing about computers is how warm they are. They are the perfect heating pad when it’s chilly. Plus, they are the best climbing pads when mom or dad is working on one of them. I like to mark the corners, too. Hey! I gotta scratch my face somehow.

Zeus and the Computer

My typical day looks something like this:

I wake up as soon as my parents alarm goes off around 6 a.m. They won’t let me sleep with them in there bed. Something about pouncing and mischievous adventures at 2 in the morning. Whatever. Mom says I’ll be allowed in the bedroom at night when I grow up a bit. So I sit by their door and talk until dad comes out to feed us. I’ve gotten really good at putting my whole weight on the door. It makes a lot of noise and usually makes mom mad so early in the morning. Hey! This cool cat is hungry and nothing, not even a wooden door, will stand in my way. I eat my food in the human bathroom while Apollo gets to eat out in the kitchen. Why, you ask? I eat Apollo’s food one time and I get thrown into the bathroom like a common criminal. Geez! Apollo will eat my food, too, so it’s best to separate us. I ALWAYS want what I can’t have!

After I scarf down some delicious chicken and rice, I proceed to get my crazy on. That’s my way of saying, look out apartment! You’ve met your TERROR! There’s so many things to explore in this place. Nooks and crannies are investigated. Invisible things in the air are attacked. Walls are scaled. Windows pawed at. Apollos pounced on. Apollos attacked. Cardboard to be eaten. Counters and high places to be explored. Hunting. It’s a busy world and I’m livin’ the dream people!

By the time my mom leaves around 8 a.m., I’m a little pooped. It’s time for a nap. This cycle continues all day until my parents come home. Eat. Attack. Play. Poop. Nap. Attack. Play. Poop. Nap. I like to scare my mom when she comes home. See I have a cat’s intuition and can sense when she’s about to walk through the door. I get really close to the door and wait. I’m hoping she’ll move quick enough for me to jump out of the apartment and do some more exploring. I know there’s a big world out there and I’m just itching to check it out. Or maybe the itching is fleas. (That’s a joke.)

Zeus and his activities

My parents feed us some delicious gourmet food then it’s time for more play and this is when the bird comes out. I think he only likes to come out at night. Maybe he’s nocturnal or something. I begin my stalking regimen. This bird is trying to take up my territory in the cat play room. I can’t have that. It’s my room and he’s not allowed in it. I stalk this thing until I’m panting on the cold kitchen floor. It’s exhilarating! This bird comes out multiple times throughout the night and by the third time I’m pretty tired. I snuggle up in my cat tree by the window for a long nap afterwards. Sometimes my mom interrupts my naps to cuddle with me. My response to this horrible intrusion is a gassy one. Yes, you guessed it. I let out a really good, smelly fart. It’s the perfect response and mom lets me go immediately. And she never learns either. It’s a reoccurring scenario.

I’ve got a good life and nothing beats basking in the sun and taking a good nap. Let’s hope mom gets that blockage taken care of. The next time I blog, I’ll give you a play by play of my bathroom habits. Peace out homies!